An internationally renowned specialised foster care program is being piloted for the first time in South Australia.
The program, called Treatment Foster Care Oregon (TFCO), is a partnership between the Department for Child Protection and OzChild.
It will allow vulnerable and complex young people aged 12 to 17 the opportunity to live with a specially-trained foster carer who will provide full-time one-on-one support for about nine months.
Ultimately, the aim of the program is for the child or young person to return to family or a stable, long-term foster carer, rather than residential care.
The State Government has committed $3.8 million to trial the program over two years to support a total of 14 young people.
The TFCO model has operated internationally for more than 30 years and is used in Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales.
OzChild will work directly with DCP to help identify young people who are suitable for the model.
TFCO carers ideally have experience working with young people with complex behaviours, with qualifications including nursing, childcare workers, teachers, social workers, paramedics and emergency services.
Carers who take part in this program must not be working in any other capacity and will be paid accordingly.
Carers who take part in the program will be trained and have access to a 24/7 support line.
Following recruitment and carer training, the first young people are due to be placed into the program in December.
To find out more about becoming a TFCO foster carer, visit ozchild.org.au.